Bray People - - NEWS - By MYLES BUCHANAN

HUGE crowds gath­ered for the visit of Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar to Roundwood on Satur­day to of­fi­cially open the Vartry Lakes Walks.

The walk was de­vised by the Roundwood and District Coun­cil with fund­ing and sup­port re­ceived from Wick­low County Coun­cil, County Wick­low Part­ner­ship and Gov­ern­ment bod­ies. The en­hanced project opens up 20km of re­fur­bished walks to the pub­lic.

Speak­ing at the open­ing, the Taoiseach said: ‘I am de­lighted to see this bril­liant new amenity open­ing to the pub­lic here in the Gar­den of Ire­land. It is par­tic­u­larly ap­pro­pri­ate that we launch such a fan­tas­tic fa­cil­ity in the same week as we launch the Healthy Ire­land 2018 cam­paign to en­cour­age peo­ple to get ac­tive this sum­mer.

‘ Th­ese 20km of walks are the per­fect fa­cil­ity for get­ting out­doors and en­joy­ing the best of what Ir­ish forests have to of­fer. This amenity is tes­ta­ment to the ded­i­ca­tion of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and is an ex­am­ple of part­ner­ship fund­ing by the State to bring real ben­e­fit to ru­ral Ire­land,’ said the Taoiseach.

The walk also in­cor­po­rates a new ‘Neigh­bourWood’ amenity and Min­is­ter of State, Andrew Doyle, gave the project his bless­ing as well.

‘Neigh­bourWoods de­liver a wide range of ben­e­fits to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and wider so­ci­ety by pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­er­cise, re­cre­ation and relaxation, creating im­por­tant wildlife habi­tats, mit­i­gat­ing noise pol­lu­tion, pro­mot­ing air qual­ity and im­prov­ing the vis­ual land­scape,’ said Min­is­ter Doyle.

‘As Min­is­ter with re­spon­si­bil­ity for forestry, I am de­lighted to see the re­sult of the project, which com­bines the best of our forestry pol­icy and our com-

Min­is­ter Andrew Doyle, Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar, Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris, Cllr Shay Cullen and Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins as the Taoiseach cuts the rib­bon to open the walks.

LEFT: Lily and Pe­ter Con­nolly at the open­ing.

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